Newcomer Last Shirt on Earth is looking to bring affordable quality to the humble, yet stylish t-shirt.
For most men, shopping for a t-shirt is like a surgical strike – get in, grab a shirt that fits/feels good and go.
But when most ‘premium’ shirts are either cheaply made or overpriced, how can you guarantee any real sense of satisfaction with your ‘spoils of war’?
Last Shirt On Earth is looking to bring that satisfaction back by re-engineering how t-shirts are made from the ground up.
Their mission: to win the war for your dresser drawer by make the highest quality and most comfortable t-shirt you will ever own (for a reasonable price of $30).
Using 100% organic supima cotton and a unique fabrication process, these shirts are made to be stronger and longer-lasting, all while giving men the comfort they need while looking good.
The Last Shirt On Earth team are aiming to raise $30,000 in 30 days with their Kickstarter campaign, which will launch on August 16th.
Will Spero, the founder of Last Shirt On Earth, is available ahead of their Kickstarter launch to share how he plans to revolutionize the t-shirt industry.
Source: Kickstarter (link)
Last Shirt on Earth Kickstarter
Last Shirt on Earth Q & A
I wanted to learn a bunch more about this interesting new t-shirt offering, and what makes it unique — so I sent a series of questions to the founder, which he kindly and thoughtfully responded to.
It’s a bit in-depth, so grab a cup of coffee (or Bourbon) and be ready for some good-reading.
Q. Please explain the unique fabrication process, in detail.
The cotton itself is sourced through independent growers in the U.S. It is completely organic Supima cotton.
From the growers it goes to a spinner in Atlanta where we take only high thread count Supima, and from there it goes to a company to make it into fabric, and then another company to “finish” the fabric (compact it, etc.).
I would not consider the process unique in the sense that it can’t be duplicated, but the combination of what we are doing (organic, 100% Supima, high thread count, some extras on the finishing, plus even on the dying and processing end we go that extra mile) is something I have not seen readily available in the marketplace at a reasonable price.
Q. Is the unique fabrication process used on the body as well as the collar?
The cotton is a standard ribbed 1 x 1.
We make it from the identical organic Supima as the rest of the shirt so everything matches perfectly from a cotton standpoint.
Q. What is the guarantee of the t-shirt & how long will the guarantee last?
We guarantee the t-shirt will arrive in perfect condition or we will replace the shirt, or give a full refund.
We don’t guarantee how long the t-shirt will last, but it is Supima and it’s made in America, so we expect it to be very long lasting.
I have a shirt I have had about 6 months ago from our very first batch (wrong collar but other than that it is the same) and I’ve now washed it 15x and it looks and feels great!
Q. What is the weight of the organic Supima cotton in GSM (grams per square meter)?
We say in our Kickstarter that the shirt is a medium weight. We’re still testing what we think is the perfect weight is.
We want a shirt that can be worn on its own if someone wants to, but if you put it under a button up shirt, it feels great and is not too heavy.
That being said, our first batch was 6 ounces, which I believe converts to 203.4 grams. I found this to be a heavier than I wanted.
I have a new batch that was just completed that is 5.5 ounces, or 186 grams per square meter, which still needs to be tested out.
We want to make sure we get the weight just right.
But as you can tell, it’s definitely not going to be a lightweight or a heavy shirt.
Q. Is the fabric knitted in Los Angeles where it’s being cut & sewn? Or is it sourced from somewhere else?
Everything is done in Atlanta, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Originally I was doing it out there because I was going to do dying and printing on my shirts and this one company in the Carolinas has a super unique approach to printing that is fantastic.
They actually print before they dye, it is water-based, and much better for the environment than traditional methods.
But with this Kickstarter we have decided we are first just testing the market for a premium shirt that can be worn alone or as an undershirt.
Q. Confirming this is a garment dyed t-shirt?
Yes, definitely garment dyed. We do this in relatively small batches and in mesh bags the shirt to keep from any abrasion.
Q. What is fabric the knit type? (jersey, pique, rib, something new)
Interlock. This gives us two advantages over jersey.
First of all, if you went jersey, you’d probably need around a 20 thread count to give you the same thickness.
We are able to use a much higher thread count (which is a softer, more delicate and more expensive Supima) and put two of these pieces together to create a similar thickness as one 20 thread count jersey shirt.
The other advantage is that the way jersey is knit, the outside is soft while the inside is much rougher.
With interlock, both sides are the “soft” side.
When I put one of our Supima t-shirts on, I can feel the difference.
Q. Does the t-shirt go through any processes such as enzyming, silicone softeners, distressing, etc.? if so, which ones?
We enzyme wash to make it as smooth as possible on day one.
As you are aware, pilling will happen on shirts over time, it always does.
But Supima pills about 25% to 50% less than regular cotton, and when you start with an enzyme wash, you hold off on the pilling even longer.
We have experimented with silicone washes but it is unlikely that we will add a silicone to the final product.
To give you an example of our testing, I had some shirts go through an enzyme wash only and others go through an enzyme and silicone softener. Weirdly, you can’t tell the difference on day one in terms of softness.
Will silicone protect it a bit more?
Well, my spinner recommends against silicone saying that the way the silicone works it causes extra friction in the laundry and adds to overall pilling.
My washer begs to differ and I am currently testing multiple washes and environments on both.
Adding silicone to the wash/dye process is a very minimal cost, but if it is not adding value, I really don’t see the point.
Also, I like the fact that our shirts are extremely soft and I can honestly say that’s not because we gave it a silicone wash.
Q. Is the fabric cut by hand, digital cutter, or laser cutting?
[The founder was not sure about the answer to this question.]
Q. Do you have any additional information to share with me that is not addressed by the questions above?
Since you are asking, I’ll mention a few more things that might be helpful to what we’re about.
USA made – I do want to mention that every part of the process is done in America.
Organic cotton – While the entire shirt is not organic, the cotton is, which we believe is the most important part of the shirt to be organic.
It’s not the trace chemicals in the shirt that don’t wash out that bother me, it’s what goes on with the rest of the non-organic crop.
I have an article on our website about the major part is this:
“Since only 35% of a harvest is turned into cloth, the rest gets filtered into what we eat or drink. Cottonseed is used in cookies, potato chips and salad dressing. Cotton meal, often harboring high levels of pesticide residues, is fed to dairy and beef cattle. Runoff from cotton farms ends up in streams and our water supply, and 90% of municipal water treatment facilities lack the equipment to remove these chemicals.”
I have been asked: Why make a shirt out of cotton at all? A lot of companies try tri-blends, bi-blends, tencels, micromodal, etc.
We feel like cotton is the best fabric for t-shirts and our reasons are:
- Cotton is a natural fiber. It’s been grown and woven into cloth since 3,000 BCE. Polyester and rayon are often listed among the “worst” fibers you can wear because of the toxic nature of their creation process.
- Cotton breathes well. It also draws heat away from the skin during the summer while providing insulation during colder months.
- Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. And unlike many synthetic fibers, it does not irritate the skin.
- Cotton ages well. Cotton actually gets softer over time, and a high quality cotton, like Supima, is able to retain much of its appearance with less stretching and pilling.
- Cotton is a boon for the environment. It is sustainable, renewable and biodegradable. Not to mention the annual cotton crop has the same carbon impact as removing 7.25 million passenger vehicles from the roads.
Lastly, we have opted away from “tags” and instead print the care instructions, branding, etc. inside the neckline.
I feel a lot of premium shirts simply use thick cotton and expensive tags to make the shirt appear great.
We have put our money into the type of cotton, making it organic, the weave we use, etc.
It’s definitely a difference you can feel.
Last Shirt on Earth Photos